Authors: Andrew Michael Schwarz
Tags: #romance, #blood, #love, #paranormal, #wizard, #spells, #duality, #magick, #doppelganger, #luekemia, #prosthetic limb, #magickal spells
2013 Chelsea Morgan Clark &
Andrew Michael Schwarz
All rights reserved. This book or any portion
thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher except for
the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2013
Chelsea Morgan Clark
PO Box 383
Renton, WA 98057
Love and Magic
Chelsea Morgan Clark
Andrew Michael Schwarz
This wasn’t a fairy tale.
A wrinkled finger ran down the middle of a
crisp page. Page after page he scrutinized each entry. I wondered
if the book had an index, then realized how silly a notion that
was. It was handwritten in some places, typed in others and patched
over with cut-out script here and there.
“Patience,” he said, “is a virtue you would
be wise to brush up on, Courtney, my dear.”
Duly rebuked, I acquiesced silently.
He was right. Even though I had as good a
reason as anyone to be impatient, I couldn’t let it show, not here
in the presence of the great Arcadian Feldspar.
A pseudonym, yes, but the name he had chosen
to represent his identity. He was a Grand Master, a true wizard,
and a surly hermit.
If you’d been practicing for a good, long
while, and if you’d gotten your spells refined to a literal art,
maybe, just maybe he would grant you a hearing for the
And probably not.
Oh, one could visit the old man any time,
for tea, herb, lore. But not to discuss the arcana; that was a
special and treasured liaison few ever got. He just didn't trust
people that much. Too much power when you can really do it, I
And I knew well, that should any of my
sisters catch wind of my meeting here tonight, jealousy would be
the lesser crime. A neophyte just wasn’t supposed to excel like
that. So, I had no intention of telling
. I had fought
hard to get here, but it would be a personal victory, unshared.
“Here we are,” he said, nose down in the
book. “Right where I remember it.” He laughed a dry chuckle. I
edged closer, trying to peek over his shoulder. He smelled like
cloves and nutmeg.
“Now,” he continued, eyeing me most
suspiciously in the flickering candlelight. “This is not something
a young lady normally messes around with. But you are exceptional,
as has already been demonstrated. However, and listen up, that is
no reason for you to do anything outside of the parameters that I
will delineate. Do you understand me? You must do exactly as I tell
“I understand. And will,” I said
“Well, maybe you do and maybe you don't.
Courtney, my precious girl, do not forget this is the Spell of
Duality. It deals with the dual nature of self. And you must never,
ever underestimate of what the self is capable. You may think you
know the outcome once the spell has begun. Believe me you do
He was a scrawny creature, but when he
intended to get through to you, he did in a big way. It got through
and scared the hell out of me. He was an intensification of all
that the Old Religion teaches.
"You don't," he sighed. "Because you simply
can't. Not because I say so, or because you are somehow inadequate,
but because you've never paid the price for this particular
incantation before, this particular time."
"Price?" I could have slapped him. I'd paid
the price. I'd paid it with flesh. I'd paid it with sweat and tears
"Courtney, dear, please don't look at me
with such naked furry. Oh!" He laughed. "My God, you're beautiful!"
He paused as if for dramatic effect. "It's just that I have my
doubts if you're ready, that's all! I have my doubts if
would be ready. It's not you or your lack of skill, my God, you
have skill. So much craft in so little time, you're a prodigy!
"No my dear, it's that this spell is almost
too good. And it's dangerous because it's so unpredictable."
"I thought you said it would--"
"Work?" He really cackled then. "Oh, it will
work. Oh, it will most certainly work. But look, you have to be
willing to pay the price and it's personal and different for
everyone. This is a spell about you!
"So, before we go any further, I need to
know that you are, in fact, ready. Take your time, take a break
from it. Think about it."
"No!" I couldn't risk where this
conversation was headed. "No. I'm ready. I know I am. And I'm
willing to pay. Whatever the price, I'm willing to pay it."
"Tisk, tisk, I grow weary of such brazen
bravado. You speak out of school. So young, so pretty, and
"Arcadian, please! Look, you know me. You've
seen what I can do, how far I've come. No one else could have done
that. That's proof enough that I'm ready."
He stared at me, hawkish. I had no idea what
was going on inside his head. "Very well," he said at last. "Who am
I to doubt you? But what you reap, so shall ye sow. There will be a
price and you will not know what or how much until you've already
paid it. That much is certain."
"Okay," I said. "Okay."
He sighed. Looked up over his spectacles.
“Have you contacted your middle vision before?”
He cut me off. “The middle eye, think of it.
Remember that spot right there! The old center of your being.” His
hand passed over the candle making the flame erupt and sparkle.
Sage, in the air now, stung my nose. He’d
already begun the spell and taken me unawares. Something crunched
underfoot. I looked down.
He’d cordoned off the kitchen table where we
were seated with a line of salt so adeptly I hadn’t noticed he was
casting the circle. Then into the flame he’d cast the sage to
purify the space. His arm moved and the flame waxed again, only
this time it roared and some other spice punched the room. Damn it
if he hadn't planned all the while berating me to cast this
Dizziness grabbed hold of me, made me teeter
on my feet and he made me sit.
“Concentrate on the middle eye!” he was
shouting. I could see he was shouting and yet his voice was so
distant. “The middle eye, Courtney! The center of your
vision…duality, one vision, dual intent…!” And something else I
The room flipped. Tilter-whirled. My gut
belly-flopped and my head seemed to blow up like a helium
I stared down at the proceedings. Out of
body, trapped by the ceiling.
I saw why only a wizard such as Feldspar
could originate the casting of this thing.
I watched my body slump forward. I could no
longer feel its heart-beat or pulse.
Create a self of separate fate
And decree a love of mimicry
Dispense the narcissistic tense
With independent symmetry
Blessed be and we're done!”
A great swoosh of light and sound and I was
back, looking through my eyes again, Arcadian smiling eagerly.
“Welcome back.” He raised a finger. “On the next full moon, when
the moon is in Libra with the sun in—” An eyebrow quirked up.
“Ah, Aries,” I blurted out, my lips not well
under my control yet.
“Oh, so you
know your cycles?” He
I nodded. Moon in Libra, sun in Aries. Would
make the best combination for admiration of self, seemed like a
Then he handed me a folded piece of
“Read this the night of and don’t deviate or
back down,” he said. “No matter how rough it gets, stay the course.
To do otherwise could be...well, deadly! For you and those you
love! But if you see it through, you will gain the prize at the
end. But it may not be the prize you expect!
"Those are my instructions, Courtney, follow
them to the T."
"Cast the rest in Libra and Aries. Read
this. Don't deviate. That all?"
"That all? Don't underestimate any of that,
but one for the road: let the magick guide you."
“What form do you think it will take?” I
asked sheepishly, to which he responded with a long rattle of dry
laughter that sounded like rustling leaves.
“I have no idea at all.”
He stood, walked to my chair and helped me
up. I shifted my weight onto my prosthetic limb. It had been
getting easier, and at certain moments one can almost forget that
it’s a fake leg. Almost.
“Steady now,” he said. “You’ll be fine in a
He walked me to the door and I hugged him.
He felt frail and weak under his cloak, but I knew the truth of it.
I limped out into the forest and clicked on my flashlight, happy
that I remembered to bring it.
A week would pass before the moon entered
Libra. I didn’t know what to do until then, so I cleaned. I cleaned
the entire house, from roof to basement and then did it all over
Then exactly seven days later (call it
divine), the moon entered its Libra cycle and I fished out that
scrap of parchment with Feldspar’s hand written notes. I looked at
the paper in the dim candle flicker. It seemed his letters weren’t
letters at all, but hieroglyphs. It was fun to imagine Feldspar as
a great medieval wizard somewhere, casting his magick to save the
kingdom. Was he doing anything different now? Perhaps it was just
the world around us that negated it. Feldspar was indeed my Merlin,
greater even, for it was Feldspar who had given me this chance.
It was my understanding that the Spell of
Duality opened a direct channel to the Mother Goddess and secondary
channel to Danu, the proverbial faerie queen. Whatever the
occultism behind it, I didn’t care.
I had considered using the cloak I had
The Eye of Horus
druid store. I loved that
robe, but wondered if sky clad might be the more appropriate
attire. Of course it shouldn’t matter much,
it being more of a comfort consideration than a magickal one.
For the sake of concentration, I opted for
sky clad. I would be outside, but in the comfort of my California
country home and there would be no passersby. And if there were? I
have never been ashamed of my body, whether with two legs or
I took the robe with me in case I decided
against nudity once I got outside and felt the prickle of the grass
or some other unanticipated development. Like ants.
I hiked out to the edge of the property and
admired the night. The moon was very full and bathed the
countryside in a glorious silver glow. I could feel its energy and
understood anew why this celestial body was so partial to the art.
I got a sudden image of myself dancing naked by the light of the
moon and laughed. The idea of witches as a lot of crazy, old crones
stewing over a boiling cauldron had become so far removed from my
psyche since the last year and half, I wondered if I had ever
really thought that way at all.
Oh, I suppose I had. But I was of the
uninitiated then and one can’t blame the ignorant, at least not
with any real rancor. I’d learned so much in the last months,
spurred on by this one need: to make my body whole again.
I undressed and threw my clothes in a pile.
Then I removed my prosthesis. I probably didn’t need to, but I
wanted nothing of an alien nature to alloy the magick inside the
circle. I set it down in the cool grass. It was a bit of a thing to
cast a circle while hopping naked, but when you have only one leg
you make due with a lot more than that.
In truth I was frightened. I really wasn’t
sure what to expect. Would this stage of the spell mimic the
violent first half cast by Arcadian? I didn’t like the idea of
flying out of my body into the stars. I really didn’t. Vertigo
kicked in just thinking about it.
When I had finished casting the circle I
drew half a dozen pentagrams in the open air with my ceremonial
Athame knife (also purchased at
The Eye of Horus
) and then
finished the otherwise tedious, but necessary down-in-the-trenches
work of spell casting.
Once finished, I lowered myself down to the
center of the circle. To my pleasure the grass did not prickle and
I did not need a flashlight to read Arcadian’s scrawl such was the
strength of the earth’s only satellite. I mused of what great power
could be tapped into if the earth had but two moons.